The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
If the film occasionally bumps up against the limitations of its Spellbound-like template, its refusal to ignore the social issues outside of the classroom proves it's more than simply a novelty human-interest story with impressive knight moves.
Overlong. It wanders. It needs trimming. But the director never goes far wrong when she just hangs with the kids, focusing on their focus, capturing their disappointment at losses and the thrill of each victory on the chessboard.
There's an irresistible cinematic appeal to watching kids dedicate themselves to fundamentally non-kid-like practices like competitive ballroom dancing or studying etymology to ease their way in spelling bees.